Many, though not all, of Martha Corey-Ochoa's poems concern the great love of her life, the eighteenth-century Russian prince Aleksei, whose wife she considered herself to be. Some also deal with her infidelity with a living boy and with the contrast between the period when she was madly in love with Aleksei and its sequel, "a cheap imitation of sanity."



Last Night



No Angel Cast Me Out of Eden Fair

The Rebel

Love Poem to Death

Cliff's Edge

The Violinist and His Dancer

Tightrope Walker


The Death of the Sun

CTY 2008

Maiden Widow Bride

I Am

O Tepid Hearts

Atheism on a College Campus

My Asymptote

To Mourn or Not to Mourn

My Last Feast Rots

Turning Around

Silver Ring



perhaps I have been unclear

I do not want you to treat me like my father treats my mother

I want you to drag me to the top of a fiery volcano

and kiss me inches away from the scarlet streams of lava

I want you to pull me to the frozen swamps of your deathbed

and extend your ghostly hand to me from out of your decaying tomb

I pulled away from you

and with the iron grip of the reaper you tried to pull me back

in those days you obeyed my command

I told you possess me ruin me do not forsake me

you ignore this now like any sane man would

but we were never meant to be healthy

I do not need a plaything

I do not need an imaginary friend

I need a husband a lover a ghost

let me be obsessed with you 

let me throw myself into your arms with the passionate abandon of a virgin


back to top

Last Night


Last night

The stars were shining

The moon was full

I walked with you under the stars

The night was beautiful and mysterious

We could have done anything

Last night 

I loved you.


back to top



For a moment it shone brighter than any other star in the empty night sky

Then it was gone.

For a moment its surface danced with the heat coursing through it

Then it froze forever.

For a moment its atoms vibrated with uncontrollable excitement

Then they stilled into calm oblivion.

For a moment it made the night seem like day

Then it plunged into eternal night.

For a moment, a glorious moment, I loved you.

Now, nothing.


back to top



Black is the color of mourning, of grief that strikes suddenly and dies gradually.

Black is the color of neutrality, a staple for every wardrobe and a good way to blend in.

Black is the color of evil, an ideal evil unmarred by goodness or doubt.

Black is the color of keys on a piano, playing sharp and flat against the white keys’ natural.

Black is the color of nothing, the color produced by the absence of color.

Black is the forgotten color, the one they leave out in the roster of elementary school colors.

Black is the color of print on a page, the color by which knowledge is transmitted.

Black is the color of rotting, of the ruin to which other colors fall.

Black is the color of darkness, terrifying and beckoning.

Black is the color of a black hole, an all-consuming void where normal time and space break down.

Black is the color of outer space, broken by intermittent stars.

Black is the color of death, the only certain thing about life.

Black is the natural color of everything but light.

Black is the color of rebellion.

Black is the color of perseverance, of virtue gained through suffering.

Black is the widow whose burden is her strength, who goes on confident in the knowledge that

            she will love him forever.

But black too can fade.


back to top

No Angel Cast Me Out of Eden Fair


No angel cast me out of Eden fair

Or pushed me toward the rising sun with glee

The harsh new day that broke th’ idyllic air

Was of my own design, as now I see.

Beliefs of love decayed within my core

Their products stable as a block of lead

To heights divine no longer will I soar

Confined instead to earth by fate’s tough thread.

The ancient sisters mock me as I smile

And give my hand to a triumphant boy

Napoleonic in his strength and style

He makes of me time’s plaything, instinct’s toy.

For him, for me I smooth my forehead creased

The dead are dead no longer, but deceased.


back to top

The Rebel


I lit the fire that would burn in the city of my mind

I ignited the spark of emotional revolution

I cursed sterile light and embraced fertile darkness

            but took care not to lose the inferno

            that spread like a cancer through my neurons

            exciting electrical connections

I pledged myself to a noble traitor

I opened my lips for his ghostly kiss

I wrote glorious letters illumined by passion and grief

I saw reaction in the eyes of every progressive

I brandished the dagger of love

            and fired bullets of resentment

I ripped off my flesh and drew my blood

I tortured myself in the name of the revolution

There was no one else to hurt.


The glow of the revolution is dying

My lover has left me

I sacrificed my pearl of great price for a cheap imitation of sanity

My darkness is lightening,

But my fires have gone out long ago.


back to top

Love Poem to Death


Embrace me, my beloved

I need the chill of your arms around me

Like a breath of winter air untouched by the dim disk of the sun

I live in darkness, away from his bright and mocking glare

No other lover can penetrate the bitterness of my heart

I am immune to the men of this world

Like Persephone, I want to be sucked through the earth into your kingdom where nothing grows

When you take me, I will never leave you

Even if I could swim the river of forgetfulness back to my native land, I would never do it

I will willfully suck pomegranate seeds

I will leave my faithful lutist at the gates of Hell

I will abandon all hope as I begin to love you

Let me be driven from you in eternal gusts of wind

Break me in your hands and crush me with your teeth

Let the ice of your skin burn my supple flesh

Will I find you in the crashing waves of the sea?

In the sudden shock of a bullet penetrating my brain?

In the agonies of poison hemlock eating away at my innards?

In the blood streaming from my arteries onto the expectant earth?

Possess me, ruin me, do not forsake me

Death, my lover.


back to top

Cliff’s Edge


Standing by the edge of a cliff and wondering whether to jump off

Not with the smiles and flying machines of the adventurers

            that fall to pieces only when something physical malfunctions

Nor with the fear of the fugitive who unwillingly falls off

            pushed by an enemy asserting his power

But with the maze of an intellect tormented by weakness

            and an inwardly twisted will to power

We are the frustrated murderers of the world

Too troubled by conscience to raise a hand against our neighbor

We turn our necessary anger on ourselves

And self-destruction becomes the only escape from the torture

            we create for ourselves

Stretched out on racks of scruples

Burned by the tantalizing flames of creative mania

We stand holding varied cups of poison to our mouths

Wishing we had the courage to drink them

But with our rational minds we drown ourselves

            in proofs and equations that add up to zero

Refusing to embrace the animal we stand perpetually at the edge of the cliff

Staring at the cerulean cement of the waters below


back to top

The Violinist and His Dancer


He fell in love with her long neck and graceful phrases

            her hard body that responded only to his touch

            the way she sang him secret melodies.

Like a rose in early summer she bloomed,

            and like a supernova she was fated to explode.

He tasted her death in every kiss,

            felt the approach of absolute zero in every caress.

But she who balanced in first arabesque

            was still his sun, his asymptote, the knife to his heart.

He treasured the blood that caked the inside of her pointe shoes

            breathed in the oxygen of her grapefruit smell

            measured her worth by the tears she shed

            and lived in the shadows of her epaulement.


He gave her love; she gave him art.


She had the joy of Juliet, the gentleness of Giselle, and the faithlessness of Cressida,

            for which he loved her all the more.

She leaped into his arms only to pirouette out of them;

            her fouette turns cut him like whips,

            and her developpes unfolded into the fog.


The scroll of his violin held his hieroglyphic secrets;

            its wood his flammable passion.

Its strings vibrated under his bow just as she trembled under his body.

He scaled the heights of her castle only to find

            that the green light at its summit

            had burned out.

She lay frozen in a tutu of crepe

as a fiery ring charred the fourth finger of her left hand.

Neither Egyptian asp, nor happy dagger, nor flowery waters had killed her;

            her will alone was the cause of her death.


Her savior stands on Golgotha’s peak,

            in love with the form of a mortal goddess.


back to top

Tightrope Walker


She walks across the taut rope

footsteps perfectly coordinated

body straight and balanced

gaze focused on her goal.


Below her

the audience.

Who have chosen the easier life.

Who do not reach her, though some try

balancing less effectively on lower, lesser ropes.


To them, she seems perfect

From down there, no one can see the little trembles

that rock her.

How near she has sometimes come

            to falling.


That is all she sees, the things

            that go wrong.

The position she cannot quite make

The near slip of a foot

The out of balance step.


She has seen what goes right, but is not supposed to

For were she to realize the immensity of her achievements

she would not be able to contain it.

And were it to spill out

it would not be right

to share it with those below, to brag about it …

So she keeps it from herself.


Yet it would not be right for her to complain, either,

voice her disappointments

when she achieves

a lesser degree of excellence.

For her minor, infrequent mistakes

            are nothing

Compared with the consistent failures of those below.

No way to share how she feels

            engaged in a delicate dance of morality.


Her arm slips from its arch above her head.

in its wake, her foot slips too.

Gasping for breath, she regains balance.

Thoughts filled with how dangerously close she had come

            to failure.


She has not realized it until now, but there are others above her

Whose ropes are thinner and harder

Whose movements are more coordinated, yet effortless

As far above her as she is above her audience.


Every step has become an effort

She cannot let herself falter

Every mistake is one step closer to failing

She cannot let that happen.


Yet she would not have it any other way

to be less than perfect is unthinkable

she could not settle for a life of normalcy

So she keeps striving

            for her life of perfection.


back to top



like a puzzle    and every time you fit it together       you lose some of it


like everything must fit                       until it becomes nothing


like why wouldn’t you want to be part of it

why should anything else matter


like when you’re alone they’ll trap you anyway

it doesn’t matter how you float because soon you’ll sink


hope is unstable                       knowledge too


throw it away                                      let yourself die


you don’t belong alone                       you don’t belong at all


follow the cycle until it kills you                    everyone else too

and the order you thought you didn’t want


why should it matter to you anyway then      you’re gone     what else is there


scrambled pieces of a worthless rebellion


play your petty collusions

hate and kill and whine and frown and smile and be happy about it all


it’s not your fault anyway                                                       nothing is


you’re nothing                         everything else is nothing       it’s all an illusion


smile                you want to look good for the camera


you are on a stationary bicycle that happens to be moving

you are a single point


time and space are an illusion             so is life           you are not alive


you are not nothing either                                                                   yet


you are almost empty space                            don’t worry                             keep playing


soon you will be nothing too


back to top

The Death of the Sun


and i feel the burst of the sun’s rays in my heart


i feel its heat burning the surface of our hearts

i feel its ultra-violet radiation piercing our defenses

i feel its poisonous gamma rays in every room

every chamber of our lives


and i feel the burst of the sun’s rays in my heart


i feel the dust of civilization crumbling in my hands

i feel the pride of the earth crushing beneath my feet

i see great buildings collapsing in my eyes

i feel their dust return to dust


and i feel the burst of the sun’s rays in my heart


i feel atoms of hope fusing into reality

i feel atoms of faith falling on themselves into confusion

i feel atoms of love in a fission reaction

i feel them split into base survival

the burning ionized plasma flowing over us in confusion


and i feel the burst of the sun’s rays in my heart


i feel corrosive acid destroying human bonds

i feel it seeping into our souls

i feel my soul burn

as the souls of those around me

lie in waste on a molten ground


and i feel the burst of the sun’s rays in my heart


i feel my mind collapsing on itself

my violin and books beside me sucked into the flaming hydrogen

i feel our intellectual complexity simplified in the flames with them

as we who deigned to rule the planet return to primordial chaos


and i feel the burst of the sun’s rays in my heart


i feel dust polluting our atmosphere

i feel the wrath of the sun against that which would block its light

i feel showers of extraterrestrial dust rain on our conquered world

i watch the remains of human souls vaporize

into this soulless hell


and i feel the burst of the sun’s rays in my heart


i feel the universe expanding

i feel it getting colder with every step

i feel myself sinking into the blessed entropy

i feel my dead soul burn into absolute coldness

i feel tiny molecular activity, barely enough to save us


and i feel the death of the sun inside my heart


back to top

CTY 2008


Soft flowing breezes like the folds of a satin gown

Watermelon edges to the midday horizon

Crickets chirping through the lazy summer nights

Sunlight burning down on my black shirt

Torrential rains flooding the twilight streets

Red lawn chairs a place to contemplate our love

Tears of Andromache and Priam for their fallen warrior

Wars that cause fathers to bury sons

Linguistic duality of suffering and experience

Laughter shared with intellectual companions

Teenage ballerinas marked by haughty grace

Innocent heartfelt phone calls home

Seeing your face in the jack of hearts

Speaking cryptically of Russia to strangers

Kissing my date and thinking of you

Dancing without a partner to songs about love

Dreaming of you in a darkened room 

Playing a cheerful song on a sorrowful violin


back to top

Maiden Widow Bride


I. Maiden

When she first heard his name

            he was just another slightly interesting fact

            not much

            but she wanted to learn more.

When she next heard his name

            she had sought it out

She thought simple acquaintance with him would satisfy her

            but no.

More and more, she needed.

Every day she breathed his name upon waking

            and prayed that he would haunt her dreams.

Her longing for sex and love was quelled

            she had found the love, if only in her dreams.

But out of her dreams it came, love so true

            passion hitherto unknown to her.

The words of lovers great and small were revealed to her

            in their splendor.

He was so much more than a crush.

The maiden’s heart was won, through no effort on his part

            simply his being attracted her

            and called forth the latent love in her heart.

From her confidants she hid her passion

            they knew nothing of the unhappy maid’s love and secret joy.

He seldom entered her dreams of night, but in day

            she dreamed of him constantly;

            at night the adrenaline of love kept the maiden awake.

As long as she could love she could rejoice.


II. Widow

She could see his death when she decided to fall in love

            she did it to herself

            made herself a widow by choosing him to love.

From a crop of living breathing boys around her she chose none

            choosing instead him who was many years dead.

Why she loved him so, she could not say.

Why she mourned him, she could say neither,

            since he in Heaven was happier than she left behind,

            and his joy should have sufficed to make her happy.

But on the day of his death she dressed in black,

            a widow though no official vows had been taken.

She alternated between faith in her love

            and fear that it was sinful and would doom her to Hell.

She swore she could love forever

            but doubted the veracity of her love.

The torture of her doubt joined her with him

            who had died by torture.

Yet tears seldom flowed from her eyes

            she was beyond such trifles

            or were her joys and sorrows trifles

            unworthy of tears?

Others rejoiced around her, but the maiden widow

            maintained a perpetual distance.

Pain thrilled her and drew her to him,

            but loss only worsened the pain of their separation.

Others chatted and laughed nearby;

            she begged him to speak to her and take her away.

How her heart longed for him;

            her soul ached for him, draped in its black clothes of mourning;

            a lifetime was such a long time to wait

            for a union that remained a maybe.

His initials she dug fresh into her arm every morning

            she longed for blood to pour from the marks

            and verify her love.


III. Bride

The joy came in the night

            as her soul waited

            a violin whose music is melancholy

            and yet holds such promise of real joy

            not false cheer like those around her possessed

            those to whom she was a shy, lonely, unhappy child.

How false their joy to the child they pitied!

For she is child no longer, but bride, his bride.

A marriage of longing has joined them

            the man in heaven and his devoted wife on Earth.

Years are nothing to them who love.

There is no marriage in Heaven, it says;

            none indeed, not in the earthly sense.

She does not need that marriage, the maiden bride.

Greater joy awaits her,

            an eternal walk with her love in the paths of their Lord

            possession of each other, who both belong to God

            worship, truth, love await them in the Holy and Eternal City.

And they will be happy, who mourned and suffered,

            the quiet widow and her dear love.

Blessed are they who mourned, for as long as they can love 

            they will surely rejoice.


back to top

I Am


I am an electron orbiting a single proton.

I am the blood pressed from my cut finger onto a paper containing the date of his death.

I am the pomegranate seed that promises servitude to death.

I am the rip in my page where my pen pressed too hard.

I am the leftover meat on my plate.

I am the broken A string on a violin.

I am the warning against ingestion on the back of a bottle of laundry detergent.

I am the black dress that I wore on the night I tried to be unfaithful to him.

I am Kurtz’s Intended.

I am the sum of two and two.

I am the manic waltz of the Symphonie Fantastique, and the witches’ dance too.

I am a tree cut down to make a book about him.

I am the equality of two rays with different starting points.

I am the cold wind that bites at my face and reminds me of the power of our love.

I am a supernova, and the subsequent black hole.

I am the point at which a curve touches its asymptote.

I am the Earth in the instant after Adam’s fall.

I am a universe that crunches into nothing and expands again.

I am the wife of a dead man.


back to top

O Tepid Hearts


O tepid hearts, from you spring vapid words!

From you the hatred of the world is born,

Which though it starts without the sharpened swords

Soon overcomes the day, consumes the morn.

In night the titled fools joust gleefully

Their field glows with artificial light

The sweet girls cackle, jostling to see

Which man will triumph in the worthless fight.

But I with grieving heart and bitter eyes,

Fast pulse rate, red shoes, and a dress of black,

Watch from a distance this dull group’s demise

My proud intent to gain what others lack.

Upon me Satan swoops, his work complete

I am too proud to kiss my Savior’s feet. 


back to top

Atheism on a College Campus


The light green trees surround her

            but she cannot be happy.

She laughs and smiles with her friends

            they stroll together down the concrete paths

Everywhere there is the beauty of new life

Reason at its most safely glorious

The sun streams directly from the sky

            falling on the golden green grass

            where happy young men throw frisbees

            and mothers push their little children in strollers

The children hold tightly to their raggedy toys

            but she has nothing to believe in.

The beautiful campus, buzzing with life,

            is it spacious or empty?

The chapel stands cold and clean, like any other

            of the majestic neoclassical buildings

            ashamed to reveal its superrational warmth

The sun beats down but it is infinitely cold

            the life-giving rays fall into a glorious emptiness

            as she smiles and strolls and pretends and makes herself believe

But she has nothing to believe in.


back to top

My Asymptote


I am a curve; you are my asymptote,

The line that I approach and never touch,

A castle bounded by a stagnant moat,

A stately vault for one I love too much.

Beneath clean sheets you took my mortal hand

And placed your ghostly fingers there in such

A tender way that I saw your demand

For fatal love as nothing but a gift.

What blessed soul would gaze upon the band

Of cursed women and therein would sift

To find and rescue an unhappy girl

Whose smotherèd potential cut a rift

Between her and the dancing, smiling swirl

Of other girls whom trouble did not haunt

As it did her; who but the wealthy churl

Who grimly bore false fortune’s every taunt

Who gave himself to torture, whose disgust

Of power led the world to hate his gaunt

And feeble frame, to craft no marble bust

So future men might look at him in awe,

But rather let his dust return to dust.

This is the man for whom I break the law

Of nature, crossing boldly Styx’s stream

And dodging Cerberus’ slashing paw,

Descending to a realm of frozen steam

And wind-racked lovers, boiling lakes, and trees

Inhabited by men whose souls would teem

With self-turned hate and unseen heresies

Who, lacking an external stake and fire,

Would steal from paradise the shining keys

And, like the Queen of Carthage, build a pyre

On which they might dissolve their earthly chains

Not realizing that their proud desire

To die before God deigned to end their pains

Would drag them down to hell, where no star shines.

I saw this ruined orchard’s crooked lanes,

Its wilted maples, sycamores, and pines,

The tears that dangled, paralyzed, from eyes

That witnessed but rejected all the signs

Sent by their Lord to stifle their good-byes

To Him and his good saints. O, sinful pride!

You are the root of evil’s ugly cries.

How wretched are we all, save Him who died

For love of us, and whom we still betray!

We stand alone, unwilling to abide

With our Creator in eternal day.

The narrow road has lost for me its charm;

Too uniform and binding are the way,

The truth, the life, the prophets’ loud alarm.

No, I would rather die of love for you

Than turn away from you and passion’s harm.

My love is heresy that springs anew

From bloody, warm, and sin-polluted lakes,

Yet like a foolish sparrow I still coo

To you, my dear, my light among the rakes

And vagabonds whom virtuous girls reject,

Aware of the grave paths that their mistakes

Will lead them down if they do not select

Salvation’s road before it is too late.

You, too, may stand among the great elect,

And, doing so, ignore the rotting bait

With which I long to snare you in the net

Of my brown hair, to match your rapid gait

To my own steps upon a path beset

With all the curses of our jealous God,

And, for an instant, like the black stone jet,

Which through the dismal caves its pathway clawed

And in the transient light proudly outshone

Bright gemstones that on normal paths did plod,

I now intend to outshine all that’s known

As holy, good, and humble. How I long

For that catastrophe! that starry groan

Resounding through the vacuum by its song

Of heresy and pride in minor strains,

That supernova’s pinnacle of wrong,

Creating pits and mountains from the plains

Of God’s smooth universe. Yes, this is love!

Love is not that which holiness restrains,

It is not borne by the sweet, peaceful dove,

It is not the eternal, happy day

That prophets claim will come from God above.

True love eclipses virtue’s golden ray;

I bear this love to you, my Aleksei.


back to top

To Mourn or Not to Mourn


To mourn, or not to mourn, that is the question:

Whether it is a truer show of love

To suffer grief for the sake of the dead

Or to leave behind devoted sorrow

And thus return to gladness. To stop the pain—

A natural desire—and by stopping

We can possess once more the many pleasures

That man inherits. For happiness is something

All men must desire. To cease, to smile—

To smile, perhaps to forget? There’s the problem.

For what of inner emptiness may hide

Behind that complacent smile, when we have

Ceased to remember in death those whom we

Have loved in life, holds us to fullness of grief.

For who would bear the stabs and jolts of loss,

The salty welling i’th’eyes, the reproach of the living,

The pow’rless longing, the wanness of the visage,

The inky sables, the stark and blood-red morning

That follows fast th’exuberant starry night,

When he might make return to gladness by

Crossing back the river Lethe? Who would

Suffer mournful chants to ring in his mind

But that the yearning of devotion, that

Relentless sentry who holds death a trifle,

Wreaks havoc on our cool and calming reason,

And makes us rather bear the grief of love,

Than partake in the joys bought by forgetting?

Thus affection makes obsessors of us all,

And thus our gladness is blackened with grief

And simple pleasures of our life on earth

Are kept from us by solemn, mournful love

Of those already dead.—Now come my friends;

I must fall quiet.—Friends, in your sweet innocence 

May I find contentment.


back to top

My Last Feast Rots


My last feast rots, as beetles, worms, and mice

Dig tunnels in unleavened, holy bread

The temple’s treasures sell now at a price

The businessmen forget what Jesus said.

I’m paralyzed from my heart to my feet

And though my brain works well, my soul is dead

I’m happier without the Paraclete.

But is it only luck that I enjoy?

My book, of cover clover green must meet

The secrets that my anguished thoughts deploy

To find unlikely lodging in this page

Protected by green currency’s false joy.

The boy was the prime mover of my rage

That cursed my love, but soon to death devolved

Like deists’ god, he locked me in a cage

Then left me lonely, living without breath

To take in artificial oxygen

So like an ailing fool afraid of death

Ignoring things that lie beyond her ken

Creating conflict false between two poles

And praying not within the lions’ den

Lamenting rather two plain, healthy goals

That seem to fight when viewed at scale small

But that entwine to plunge me to the coals

Of hell, where ashes know no Wednesday’s call

But only the dull facts of chemistry

That class in which time years ago did stall

But that explains now everything I see

And even what I feel, if feeling still

Can reach my frozen heart, which offers me

Contentment, and in doing so does kill

Beauty and truth, which I approximate

Crudely with fiction and with scholar’s quill

And thoughts that put the good above the great

And prove this godless theory by the hire

Of mercenaries to shut off the gate

That leads into my dopamine desire.

Mere chemistry can write off the sublime

And brand as meaningless the angel choir;

It’s only neurons conjuring the rhyme

And perfect intonation of their song

Which cannot be eternal, for our time

Had origins, like that now phantom long

And winding road that led me to his door

And showed me to a world that did belong

To God, and not to me, e’en as I’d soar

Beyond the bounds of reason and of health

But then, like Lucifer, I wanted more

So I abandoned God with guileless stealth

And built my own men, like a Frankenstein

But these illusions could not give me wealth

Possessed by saints who at God’s table dine,

And still that I knew they did not exist

Was taken as a good and healthy sign

That I from my delusions would desist

And think no longer of my former star.

The feast of Valentine is lost in mist

He died for God, but now is only seen

As lovers’ patron, and is paganized

Another Cupid he, no longer clean

By virtue of the wayward boat capsized

Into a sea of whales and lamb’s blood

In life I’ve engineered and realized

My death, as, bovine, I chew toxic cud

And cast aside the love that once gave light

To all my days, that turned my soul’s black bud

Into a brilliant rose, ready to fight

All earthly horrors, all but love’s cruel sud.

The sandals of God’s virtue could not blight

The arrow aimed by Cupid at my heel

Like Peleus’ son, I could not stay

Invincible forever, could not feel

Fortune divine and its eternal day

Fate triumphed over love, as once it did

For Orpheus, who lost Eurydice

On a walkway of lines drawn by Euclid.

O reason, you will kill this gentle deer

Who longs for water as she stands amid

The desert lands foretold by many a seer

But I grow sick of love, I fear I’ll die

But doubt the pow’r of love to conquer fear

Most likely I’ll proceed with life, will sigh

Until my mournful breaths hinder no more

My doubtful, cheerful academic lie

For if I study within Harvard’s door

And later teach at Oxford, I won’t know

The happiness I knew when we did soar

Our hands together locked, as we did go


back to top

Turning Around


The rain pours and I love it

I love it like I love pain, like I love death

Death will be my life, my glory, my escape

The minor strains of thanatophiliac songs rush through my head

But this glory is darkness.

It is afternoon but the angry clouds have pushed aside the feeble sun

No one is here, no one worth caring for

Ones I might have tried to love once

In my new freedom I push them away

They are all enemies, but any speeding car could be my salvation

My pacifism crumbles in the face of true passion

They will miss me, won’t they, the wretches

For a time they may wonder what they did wrong, how they drove me to this

I will not be a fugitive

I will be dead

I shudder at the thought that it may fail

In my mind the water is transformed into bloody concrete

I thought for love of you I would never do this but things have changed

Death is too glorious, too perfect, for me to return to the weakness of life

But it is a sin

If I loved you, I would not kill myself

No, I think resolutely,

No, I have not come this far only to turn around

If I turn around I’ll just turn forward again

One step can’t matter that much

No, I will not be swayed from my course

It is weakness to turn around

But you love me

If I love you,

I will not hurt the woman you love

And you love me

So I turn around

The step seems so weak

But it will save my life

The rain still pours but the sun breaks through

Once again the people are my friends.


back to top

Silver Ring


Silver ring on my dresser

How it wants to leap onto my finger!

It sits there alone

            an abandoned friend

Why can’t I wear it?

Because every time I look at it I think of you

Because the shiny silver is inextricably tied up with

            the scarlet of your blood,

            the black of my new wardrobe.


Impossible, that I could ever love anyone else!

Impossible, that before I met you

            I was just another girl.

They are all nothing to me now.

I watch the youths flirt like so many

            flowers that bloom and die.


With my heart empty and throbbing,

With my black dress covering my virginal skin,

With my eyes full of tears that won’t come,

I step into the darkened church.

The dark calls to me, invites me.

With my soul in the dark

            I look ahead to the light.


We will rise again, and love forever.


back to top